Wednesday, January 08, 2014

You think you want it, you think you need it

Bisou wantied a chic sweater, but this argyle Rick Santorum number was what they had in her size.

I continue to adhere to Kei's concept of the "wanty." But I've been experiencing a weird variant of it. As I may have mentioned, I live in the woods, the most remote woods, and while, granted, it's a nine-minute drive to a mall with Sephora and H&M (but no Uniqlo or Zara - for that you need Bridgewater or Edison), I find the whole drive-to-and-park-at-mall experience stressful.

To be clear, it's not the stores themselves. Manhattan had very much mallified by the time I came of age as a shopper. To the point that I never even thought about which were the mall stores. They were just... where clothing came from. It had to come from somewhere.

No, the issue is that I'm still newish at driving, but more than that, it's that my sense of direction fails me when presented with the maze that is a mall parking lot. You exit a main road onto something called Name-of-Mall Drive, and then what? It's a mess of trying to park somewhere not too far from the mall itself, trying to remember where you parked, because there are no landmarks, and trying to find your way back to the main road after. Or there's lower Broadway, or lower Fifth, or (ugh) 34th Street, where this can all be done on foot, which is so much easier.

So I tend to store up a lot of wanty for occasional trips to New York, some of it wanty that could, in principle, be satisfied closer by. I recently swooped in and devoted a few hours to wanty-exploration. I made a checklist, even, because the woods-to-city trip rules out spontaneity. While the U.S. doesn't have the official sale months that some other countries do, it amounts to the same. Thus the recent $30 jeans (usually $125) from the J.Crew in town. I was optimistic.

But I discovered, to a mix of disappointment and relief, that the more outrageous wanties, however much they glowed with wanty-ness from my computer screen in NJ, are, up close, nothing special.

The first wanty did go as planned - a black turtleneck cashmere sweater from Uniqlo, whose steep discount ($50, from the usual $80) I'd already noticed online. It's so chic, and so new - it had been a while. A second "wanty" - if we can call a discounted t-shirt that normally goes for about $12 a wanty - was also fulfilled: a cap-sleeve black t-shirt from the Muji store. These are the best t-shirts. Or they're just the easiest to buy - a store with very little selection or decoration takes care of that. Muji appeals to the inner government-issued-potato-sack communist in all of us.

Next up, wanty-wise, was a trip to look at the Into The Gloss-promoted shiny makeup at (of all places) ABC Carpet. I wasn't so much interested in the luminizer itself, which costs ten trillion dollars, as the "lunar" eyeshadow, which goes for a mere one trillion. And it was... fine. Shimmery, pretty, and a texture that makes more intuitive sense than powder. But someone unconvinced she'll ever wear any eyeshadow does not require the $28 non-toxic (I think that's what you're paying for?) variety. I doubt my life will be meaningfully shortened by the unpronounceable ingredients in a beauty product I wear maybe twice a year.

Knowing I wouldn't be dropping $30 on goop meant it was time to move down the list. Ever since learning that there were galaxy-print leggings made to be used as actual running pants, this has been on a wanty. Ever since the Sweaty Betty ones went on sale, I've been thinking about it. The store had them! In my size! And they were kind of awful. Armpit-level rise, weirdly baggy in the area such pants are meant to flatter, and in a very fashion-leggings fabric that didn't seem at all right for running.

Which... pretty much knocked out the wanty list. Only Alpine hiking boots - brown leather with red laces - remain, but New York wasn't coming through on that front. It never does.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bisou is beautiful, even in the sweater. JM